Prediction of the maximum number of repetitions and repetitions in reserve from barbell velocity
Human Kinetics Publishers Inc.
Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Purpose: To provide 2 general equations to estimate the maximum possible number of repetitions (XRM) from the mean velocity (MV) of the barbell and the MV associated with a given number of repetitions in reserve, as well as to determine the between-sessions reliability of the MV associated with each XRM.
Methods: After determination of the bench-press 1-repetition maximum (1RM; 1.15 ± 0.21 kg/kg body mass), 21 men (age 23.0 ± 2.7 y, body mass 72.7 ± 8.3 kg, body height 1.77 ± 0.07 m) completed 4 sets of as many repetitions as possible against relative loads of 60%1RM, 70%1RM, 80%1RM, and 90%1RM over 2 separate sessions. The different loads were tested in a randomized order with 10 min of rest between them. All repetitions were performed at the maximum intended velocity.
Results: Both the general equation to predict the XRM from the fastest MV of the set (CV = 15.8–18.5%) and the general equation to predict MV associated with a given number of repetitions in reserve (CV = 14.6–28.8%) failed to provide data with acceptable between-subjects variability. However, a strong relationship (median r2 = .984) and acceptable reliability (CV < 10% and ICC > .85) were observed between the fastest MV of the set and the XRM when considering individual data.
Conclusions: These results indicate that generalized group equations are not acceptable methods for estimating the XRM–MV relationship or the number of repetitions in reserve. When attempting to estimate the XRM–MV relationship, one must use individualized relationships to objectively estimate the exact number of repetitions that can be performed in a training set.